Which are bowlers more likely to have, bowling shoes or bowling balls?

by JT McGee

More bowlers own their own balls, not shoes.I officially denounce my disdain towards bowling as a college course. Even though it’s time consuming, not at all related to my major, and a general waste of both time and money, I can now appreciate it for the small stuff.

Before each class, our professor has a quiz with random bowling-related questions for extra credit. There were several, like the maximum number of holes you can have in a bowling ball (the answer is 12, btw) but one was even more interesting: which are bowlers more likely to have, bowling shoes or bowling balls?

Bowling-Induced Critical Thought

I didn’t know the answer to the question, but here was my thought process:

Bowling balls:
1. You usually get one free for participating in a league.
2. A proper bowling ball will increase your score more so than your own shoes.
3. Your own bowling ball probably makes people feel like a boss.

Bowling shoes:
1. Saves some serious cash in shoe rental fees.
2. Some people (read: my girlfriend) find renting shoes absolutely disgusting.
3. Less expensive than a ball.

So what’s the answer? …bowling balls! The American consumer and financial irrationality strike again!

Round Up

  1. Financial Samurai says to do a cash-out refinance to save on your taxes. Given the love for the concept in the comments, I’m thinking I need to propose leverage as a tool against a new evil. Apparently people hate debt…except when it saves them on their taxes.
  2. FinancialUproar, who has a new and improved design, wants to know why mortgage brokers take themselves so seriously. My dad was a mortgage broker, so I’ll chime in: it’s the best paying job you can get in retail finance. “Retail” meaning not really finance, but the pay is rather fiance-y if you’re any good at it.
  3. Squirrelers had a great post on how prices for items vary from store to store. Are envelopes cheaper at Walmart or the office supply chain? Read to find out. 😉
  4. Don’t miss the option play on the Hong Kong Dollar over at Darwin’s Money. Macro investors will want to take a look at this.
  5. 101 asks if financial newsletters are worth the money. I don’t think so, but anyone who wants to buy me a subscription to Grant’s Interest Rate Observer is more than welcome to change my mind.

Photo by: Jeff Golden

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Moola Mails September 16, 2011 at 12:04

I think I would like to buy a custom bowling ball first, but if I bowled alot I would end up getting both in the long run.

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JT McGee September 17, 2011 at 06:47

I bought shoes first because I’m a cheap dude. But, given my newfound respect for a quality bowling ball, I’d probably buy a ball first if I knew enough to know it to be worth it.

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Daniel September 16, 2011 at 14:02

I took a bowling class (not much classroom instructions), but i guessed shoes because of the price and the savings. How can you roll into a bowling alley wheeling your 14-pounder, walk up to the counter and say, ‘hey, can I get some size 11s?’ Not cool in my book.

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JT McGee September 17, 2011 at 06:48

That’s what I’m saying. My class has been really educational, actually. The professor is incredibly interesting, and very much interested in making everyone better at bowling.

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Squirrelers September 16, 2011 at 15:46

Lol. I guessed bowling ball, but realize that shoes are expensive at lanes.

Now, I went back to a bowling alley last winter for the first time in 10 years! That’s right – 10 years. The price of shoe rentals is not cheap. If someone bowled periodically, a cheap pair of those shoes would payback in short order.

Here’s my take:

Serious Bowler: Both
Occasional Bowler: Shoes
Once every few years bowler: Neither

BTW – did well after not bowling for 10 years, but bragging about a bowling score would make me kind of a tool, so I’ll skip that part 🙂

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JT McGee September 17, 2011 at 06:49

Ah come on, let’s hear about that score! 😀

If I could get over 200, I’d be yelling it off rooftops.

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20's Finances September 17, 2011 at 08:34

Yep, I worked at a bowling alley in high school. The way that bowlers show off their bowling balls, it is a “no-brainer”. It’s amazing the different types of balls there are: glow in the dark, a 3D skull, etc. It was such a weird community, if you ask me.

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JT McGee September 18, 2011 at 12:59

From what I gathered from the other students, the average college bowler is 99.5% white, middle class, and has a parent who is very active in bowling. I can definitely see where there’d be a “community” element to it, as it seems like people grow up into bowling leagues.

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Funancials September 17, 2011 at 16:20

A community that shows off their balls isn’t called weird in my book; it’s called college.

I actually purchased a pair of Dexter’s for $15 a few years ago. Made my money back after 3 trips to the bowling alley.

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JT McGee September 18, 2011 at 13:00

That’s what I did…I think they’re Dexters… I paid something like $25 for them and easily saved $100 in shoe rental fees one summer. Good deal!

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Ashley @ Money Talks September 17, 2011 at 18:52

I can’t believe you have to take a bowling clas… and I really can’t believe you are enjoying it. haha. See.. maybe there is some value in college.

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JT McGee September 18, 2011 at 13:01

You haven’t seen the rest of my schedule. It’s filled with things I don’t enjoy and thus put off for far too long–stats, calc, chemistry, accounting, etc. Bowling is, in the grand scheme of things, the best of the worst.

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101 Centavos September 18, 2011 at 16:36

Bowling as a college credit, now that’s the life. Thanks for the mention, JT.

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Cherleen @ The College Investor September 20, 2011 at 02:19

I am not really a bowling fan as I find it boring. But given the options, I would rather have a bowling shoe than a bowling ball. Aside from the fact that it saves you money from paying the rental, I find it more hygienic because you are the only one using it. Anyway, I can have a bowling ball the next time I join a league.

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